This archive contains all documents published by cep over the last few years:
cepAdhoc: Incisive comment on current EU policy issues.
cepPolicyBrief: Concise 4-page reviews of EU proposals (Regulations, Directives, Green Papers, White Papers, Communications) – including a brief summary and economic and legal assessments.
cepInput: Impulse to current discussions of EU policies.
cepStudy: Comprehensive examination of EU policy proposals affecting the economy.
The aim of this Green Paper is to outline options for developing a European contract law (available in all official languages). To this end, the Commission presents for discussion various options for an “instrument of European contract law”. By this it means a construct of EU contract laws which needs further developing in particular with regard to the degree of its legally binding nature (legal form), the regulation radius (material scope) and the applicability to contract relations that do not cross borders.
The EU patent is a third option flanking the national and the European patent and providing EU-wide patent protection. At the same time, a European patents court system is to be established. The aim of the EU patent is to provide applicants with an easier and cheaper EU-wide patent protection. With a court for European patents and EU patents, the solving of legal disputes on patent granting and patent infringements is to be more consistent and calculable as it avoids parallel proceedings before national courts.
Vertical agreements are entered into by companies operating in the production or distribution chain at different levels. Such agreements are generally prohibited, however, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for exemptions from the general prohibition. The Commission decides whether or not an exemption is given. In its Block Exemption Regulation in the Motor Vehicle Sector (EC) No. 1400/2002 and its Guidelines, the Commission is presenting the conditions according to which an agreement is deemed in line with competition law. Said Regulation will expire on 31 May 2010. At the end of last December the Commission has submitted a follow-up Draft Regulation and Draft Guidelines.
Under horizontal agreements, undertakings co-operate as competitors at the same level in the value-added chain. The Guidelines are intended to make it easier for undertakings to assess themselves whether or not their intended horizontal agreements infringe the ban on cartels of Art. 101(1) TFEU and whether an exemption applies. They contain general and agreement-specific explanations of the assessment of horizontal agreements for goods and services. The revised version contains also contains explanations on “information exchange” between undertakings which are relevant in terms of competition law.
The Commission intends to restrict the maximum repayable amount of EU deposit guarantee schemes to € 100,000 in future. Deposit guarantee schemes are being obliged to mutually grant loans.
In the middle of the financial crisis the Council and the European Parliament decided to increase the minimum coverage level to Euro 50,000 and – by the end of 2010 – up to 100,000. Issues such as the EU-wide harmonisation of the financing of deposit guarantee schemes and the establishment of a European deposit guarantee scheme were postponed to 2010.
The latest plans face substantial opposition. Several national parliaments intend to file a subsidiarity complaint, a procedure newly introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, in order to force the Commission to reassess the Proposal.
Pursuant to the Waste Framework Directive, the Commission is obliged to evaluate the management of bio-waste and, where necessary, to make proposals for action. According to the Commission, the existing EU waste legislation is adequate, but poorly implemented in several Member States. To this end, such Member States are to receive EU subsidies. Moreover, the Commission assesses whether or not minimum requirements for the management of bio-waste and quality standards for compost and digestate from bio-waste should be set.
The EU is to be entitled to monitor and avoid “macroeconomic imbalances” in and between Member States. Furthermore, it is to be entitled to carry out a “thematic surveillance“ in order to ensure that Member States comply with the “Europe 2020 targets”. A reform of the Stability and Growth Pact is to safeguard that Member States consolidate their state budgets sufficiently. In addition, the EU is to be entitled to coordinate the economic policies in Member States. To this end, a “European Semester” is to be established.
In its Green Paper „Adequate, sustainable and safe European pension systems”, published on 7 July 2010, the Commission addresses all the challenges that pay-as-you-go and funded pension schemes are facing. With regard to the pay-as-you-go – usually public – systems, the Commission sees urgent need for action in order to tackle demographic change. Regarding funded systems, the Commission manly calls for EU-wide, harmonised regulation and supervision. The Commission’s aim is to improve the sustainability and security of pension systems. Furthermore, the Commission is considering whether or not it should define “when” pension is adequate.